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What types of contact lenses are available for children?

The type of contact lens your practitioner recommends will depend on your child's vision correction requirements. Both gas-permeable and soft contact lenses have been used successfully with children.

Disposable soft contact lenses (both the daily disposable and reusable varieties) are a popular choice for kids. Children who opt for reusable contacts need to remember to be vigilant about discarding and replacing their lenses. This can be marked on a family calendar or prompted by subscribing to a free contact lens reminder app that sends e-mail or text alerts.

Daily disposable lenses can be a great option for kids who are not quite ready to take on the daily responsibility of cleaning and caring for their contacts. Daily disposable contact lenses are one of the healthiest, most convenient ways to wear contact lenses.

Parents may also want to explore contact lenses that offer protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Younger eyes are more susceptible to exposure to the sun's harmful rays than adults. Compared to their parents, children have larger pupils (allowing more light into their eyes), clearer lenses and are outside without eye protection much more frequently and for longer periods than most adults. It is estimated that children's annual dose of UV radiation is three times that of adults.

While most sunglasses can help block UV rays from entering through the lenses, most frame styles do not prevent rays from reaching the eyes by getting around the sides, top and bottom of the glasses. UV-blocking contact lenses, which should be worn in conjunction with high-quality UV-blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, can provide an important measure of additional eye protection. Most contact lenses, however, do not offer UV protection. Of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. For more information ask your child's eye health professional for guidance.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.